Archive for June, 2008

On Councils

“The calling of Council can be extremely valuable, if its purpose is to clarify doctrine, end controversy, and promote peace.” John Stott

Just thinking about this quote in light of Acts 15’s description of the Jerusalem Council. Antioch demanded a hearing and sent Paul and Barnabas up to have the issue of converted Gentile circumcision. There was a discussion of the elders – spirited debate. Would the Christian movement settle into becoming a Jewish sect like the Essenes or a party like the Pharisees? Or would it blow open the door and tear down ethnic and cultural barriers?

The establishment was threatened. They were outnumbered. But they still had power. The wonder of the Jerusalem Council is that they did take their task seriously, using Stott’s+ words, “to clarify doctrine, end controversy, and promote peace.”


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Merton on Love

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. – Thomas Merton

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He is good by nature, in the same way as the Father is good, and the Son is good; the creature on the other hand shares in goodness by choosing the good. He knows “The deep things of God;” the creature receives the manifestation of ineffable things through the Spirit. He quickens together with God, who produces and preserves all things alive, and together with the Son, who gives life. “He that raised up Christ from the dead,” it is said, “shall also quicken your mortal bodies by the spirit that dwelleth in you;” and again “my sheep hear my voice,…and I give unto them eternal life;” but “the Spirit” also, it is said, “giveth life,”1206 and again “the Spirit,” it is said, “is life, because of righteousness.” And the Lord bears witness that “it is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” How then shall we alienate the Spirit from His quickening power, and make Him belong to lifeless nature? Who is so contentious, who is so utterly without the heavenly gift, and unfed by God’s good words, who is so devoid of part and lot in eternal hopes, as to sever the Spirit from the Godhead and rank Him with the creature?

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